UCSB Stymied by UC Irvine's Pallante, Drop Series Opener 10-2

Clay Fisher (photo by Eric Isaacs)
Clay Fisher (photo by Eric Isaacs)

IRVINE, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara baseball team started strong jumping out to an early 1-0 lead but UC Irvine retaliated with a strong, five-run third inning to take control of the game and never looked back earning the first win in a best of three series with a 10-2 scoreline.

UCSB's (15-14-1 overall, 2-2 Big West) offense looked like it was going to get off to a hot start after freshman infielder Marcus Castanon lined a two-out triple and came around to score in the second inning.

As the Gaucho offense stalled in the top of the third, the Anteaters used a five-hit, five-run frame to really take command. The scoring started with RBI singles from Christian Koss and Brendan Brooks before senior Ryan Fitzpatrick bombed a three-run homer to help UCI take a 5-1 lead heading into the fourth

After allowing the one run in the second, UCI's starting pitcher Andre Pallante went into full shutdown mode as he allowed just three hits, 10 strikeouts and one earned run to pick up his fifth win of the year. To that effect, UCSB tallied just six hits on the day six hits on the day.

Sophomore center fielder Tommy Jew knocked through a single in the top of the fourth but Pallante retired the next three batters in a row. UCI added to its lead in the bottom half of the fourth scoring two runs to take a 7-1 lead.

Once Pallante was gone, the Gauchos were able to add a run in the top of the eighth to try to make a comeback effort as Clay Fisher earned the second triple for the UCSB offense on the night and freshman Drew Williams knocked him in with an RBI single.

Unfortunately, the Anteaters used a three-run bottom of the eighth frame to shut the door on the visiting Gauchos. In the top of the ninth, UCSB was posted a single but made nothing of it ending the score at 10-2 in favor of the home team.

The bottom of the lineup really had it going for UCI tonight as the 7-8-9 hitters each had three hits on the evening and combined to go 9 for 12 with six runs scored and two RBI's.

Conversely, UCSB's Jack Dashwood struggle on the mound allowing 10 hits and seven runs in just 3.1 innings pitched. The Gauchos are still also winless on the road this year as this loss drops them to 0-6 on the year.

Santa Barbara will look to even up the series tomorrow with Chris Lincoln on the mound with the match beginning at 2 p.m. at Cicerone Field. The game will also be live streamed on ESPN3.